Travel with a twist – Experiential travel with an expert tour operator

One of the main aims of Grown-up Travel Guide is to inspire you to do something different for your next holiday. We try to find new places we know you’ll also enjoy discovering but also original angles on familiar destinations; unusual attractions, ‘hidden’ restaurants and wonderful hotels that you may otherwise miss.

But it doesn’t stop there – rather than only focusing on the ‘where’, we want to give the ‘how’ a little love too.

In the second of this series of articles we’d like to introduce you to the niche of personalised, adult-only winter holidays…

Benefit from local expertise and hand-crafted itineraries with a niche tour operator


Photo credit: trondk via photopin cc

In many ways it’s hard to find a better match for the readers of this site than the Artisan Travel Company.

The concept is simple yet immensely appealing: Artisan Travel works with local tourism experts in its select group of destinations to find the places they would recommend to visitors. Not necessarily the most famous or well-visited sites, but the places that best represent the area or country. In this way travellers are assured the best possible experiences on their trip without simply following the crowds.

You can choose to travel on your own or with a small group – knowing that if you choose the latter option you will be with like-minded people also looking for genuine travel.

Drawing on wide experience in the travel industry, the Artisan Travel Company specialises in winter holidays in the Nordic region but also has tours to Alaska as well as a brief summer programme.

In recent years here at Grown-up Travel Guide we’ve become big fans of small group tours led by local experts. Whether you book an ad-hoc guide service for a few hours or book your entire vacation through a company like Artisan you will get to see aspects of your destination that you would otherwise almost certainly miss out on.

Nothing beats local knowledge and especially when you want to make the most of your precious vacation time this is the way to go.

The other twist with holidays from this particular operator is that they are adult-only. They do offer trips for those whose group included under-18s from a sister firm which also provides unique experiences, but with the Artisan Travel Company you can rest assured that the almost spiritual feeling of watching the Aurora Borealis is not going to be shattered by a toddler’s cries or a sullen teen keeping himself amused by tossing snowballs at you.


Photo credit: ezioman via photopin cc

On the subject of the Northern Lights this phenomenon has a special part in the history of the Artisan Travel Company since in 2011 they founded the first company in the United Kingdom whose sole purpose was to help others witness them. Both the Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun play a prominent part in the itineraries offered today, but the range has expanded to include the opportunity to stay in the fabulous tree house hotel in Swedish Lapland, ride by snowmobile or husky sled over the frozen tundra in Finland and Norway, explore Iceland on a self-drive break and much, much more.

Our advice? Think differently for your next winter holiday.  It doesn’t have to be a choice between lying on a beach or joining the masses at a ski resort – break from the norm and try something you’ll still be talking about for years to come, in the safe hands of an expert company.

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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